Music News: Debate swirls around negative review of retro rockers Greta Van Fleet

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Greta Van Fleet, 'Anthem of the Peaceful Army'
Greta Van Fleet, 'Anthem of the Peaceful Army' (Republic Records)
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Debate swirls around negative review of retro rockers Greta Van Fleet
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Above, listen to an episode of The Current's daily Music News podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, or wherever else you get your podcasts. You can also sign up for a daily Music News e-mail.


Greta Van Fleet, a six-year-old Michigan rock band, have recently become breakout national stars with a sound unapologetically similar to classic rock of the '70s. A lot of the buzz around the band surrounds the fact that they're attracting young rock fans from a generation that has somewhat left that genre behind in favor of hip-hop, electronic dance music, and country.

The band already had more than their share of both lovers and haters before influential site Pitchfork ran a scathing review of their debut album Anthem of the Peaceful Army. Jeremy D. Larson calls the band "vampiric," arguing that the band copy Led Zeppelin's style but not their musicianship or creativity, without a single campy wink.

And...people had opinions. On the one hand, rock fans argued that (a) the music is not bad, it's good; and (b) Greta Van Fleet deserve more credit for bringing rock "to the masses."

Other takes included reminders that Pitchfork also hated Mumford and Sons' breakout album (whether or not you agree); we should all just listen to the Darkness instead; and hey! At least people are talking about music criticism again.

Lennon/Ono biopic in development

A new biopic about John Lennon and Yoko Ono is currently in development. Director Jean-Marc Vallée (Big Little Lies) is reportedly revising a script for a movie that would "focus on the ripe and relevant themes of love, courage, and activism in the U.S." At this point, it doesn't look like Ono is involved with the film. (NME)

Brits call for lifting of musician visa restrictions

Individuals and organizations across the British music industry are calling on their government to rescind new restrictions that make it more difficult for artists from the United States, Canada, and South America to visit the U.K.

"What was previously a simple system now asks visitors to acquire U.K. visas which takes weeks to obtain, cost hundreds of pounds each, and involves a complex application process," writes Member of Parliament Alex Sobel in a letter signed by numerous politicians as well as bodies from the music industry, who warn that hundreds of acts could cancel U.K. tour stops as a result of the new restrictions. (Billboard)

Sonic Youth celebrate Daydream Nation with gear sale

Sonic Youth are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their classic album Daydream Nation with an online sale of gear and memorabilia. A range of records and test pressings are available today, with the gear sale launching next Tuesday. In addition to guitars and basses, and rare records from the band members' personal collections, Sonic Youth are selling "screen-printed show posters, rare photographs, memorabilia and personal relics," reports Rolling Stone.

Streaming news roundup

There's so much news about music streaming and social media, it's hard to keep up with. Here are a few recent developments.

Facebook is introducing the ability to add music to stories, and expanding the Lip Sync Live singalong feature to all profiles in many countries. They're also teasing plans to allow users to add music to their profiles. Sound like any other social network you might have used in the past? (Billboard)

A new SoundCloud integration allows you to share music from the service directly via your Instagram story. It resembles a similar feature recently introduced for Spotify. (The Verge)

67,000 artists have already used a Spotify feature that encourages independent artists to submit music directly to the streaming service for playlist consideration. One group say that when they were featured on New Music Friday, they started seeing interest from labels, but then wondered (as Spotify surely intended them to), if they can release their music directly via Spotify, why bother with a label? The group Small Million now have hundreds of thousands of plays for their track "Young Fools," which was picked for the service's Mellow Morning playlist. (Billboard)

Today's viral clip: A get-out-the-vote jingle

John Legend and Linda Perry (4 Non Blondes frontwoman and hitmaking songwriter for Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, and Pink) have collaborated on a get-out-the-vote jingle they're hoping will go viral. Both artists posted versions of themselves singing the short song, inviting fans to cover it themselves. The campaign will feature a new song every day until Election Day, Nov. 6, with artists including Alicia Keys, Natasha Bedingfield, and Jessica Simpson slated to participate. Christina Aguilera and Kelly Clarkson have already jumped in with their own renditions of today's tune. (Rolling Stone)


Songs sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY 4.0)
BoxCat Games: "Against the Wall" (CC BY 3.0)
Sonic Youth: "Teen Age Riot"
Greta Van Fleet: "When the Curtain Falls"
Small Million: "Young Fools"
John Legend: "Get Up and Vote"
Linda Perry: "Get Up and Vote"
Christina Aguilera: "Get Up and Vote"


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